Israeli soldier sentenced to eight years in jail for murdering pro-Palestinian Briton

An Israeli military tribunal sentenced ex-soldier Taysir Hayb to eight years in prison for killing a British peace activist.

Hayb was convicted by a military court in June of manslaughter for shooting pro-Palestinian activist Tom Hurndall in the head during an army operation in the Gaza Strip in April 2003.

Hurndall's relatives criticized the sentence as too light, but said they hoped it would pave the way for further prosecutions.

Witnesses said Hurndall, 22, was helping Palestinian children avoid Israeli tanks. Hurndall lay in a coma for nine months before dying in a London hospital.

Hayb, a member of Israel's Bedouin Arab minority, faced up to 20 years in prison. The head judge, Col. Nir Aviram, said the judges handed down a lighter sentence after considering the difficult combat situation Hayb faced and his background. Hayb has only a seventh-grade education, the AP reports.

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